Tabari Artspace has announced a solo exhibition of new artworks by Palestinian artist Samah Shihadi. 'Hungry for Home' is a collection of 18 compelling hyperrealist pencil and charcoal drawings that use traditional Palestinian food as a platform from which to explore deep-rooted cultural codes and memories.
Shihadi’s powerfully realistic drawings, more closely aligned with photographs, use Palestine’s dishes and communal eating practices to communicate the collective experience of lost identity, displacement, and ultimately the artist’s aspiration to return home. “For the Palestinians living in the diaspora the table is an anchor point,” says Ranya Tabari Idliby, Palestinian author, based in New York, whose excerpts of writings on the same subject are displayed alongside the artworks. “It’s where families gather, and community is built. It’s where memories of a Palestine lost are shared and where a threatened Palestinian culture lives and thrives.”
Themes of nostalgia and displacement unite the women, despite their distinct practices set against the context of continuing geopolitical unrest in Palestine, both Shihadi and Tabari Idliby express a desire shared by many in the Palestinian diaspora to return to one’s roots.
Currently based in Haifa, Israel, Shihadi employs hyperrealist techniques to faithfully recapture the world she encounters. Since moving away from her family in Palestine to Israel, the artist finds comfort in food and cooking, a tangible reminder of her childhood and family; for Shihadi the family table becomes emblematic of one’s home, with Palestine’s traditions, recipes and stories being reawakened. This shared nostalgia becomes an anchor for the displaced and exiled, to their family past.
Exhibition opens November 28 at Tabari Artspace, DIFC. For more info visit tabariartspace.com
Image Courtesy: Supplied